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The Quilt Releases its 2012 Commodity Internet Services RFP


One of the goals of The Quilt is to provide advanced network services at a lower cost. Toward this goal, the coalition of Quilt members and Authorized Quilt Buyers purchase Commodity Internet Services (CIS) through several approved CIS providers who participate in the program.

Quilt Community collectively purchases 220 Gbps of committed commodity bandwidth from Quilt approved providers established from The Quilt’s 6th RFP effort in 2010.

The Quilt’s Commodity Internet Service RFP Process

Through the RFP process, our goal is to identify those providers who, through their IP transit Internet service offerings, are willing and able to be partners in the delivery and development of our research and education networks through the United States. We will look to our approved commodity Internet services providers for pricing discounts appropriate to our levels of bandwidth consumption. We seek provider partners who are not only able to provide the best value, but are also at the forefront of technology and are willing to work closely with Quilt members to develop and expand technology beyond that of a standard provider-customer relationship.


The Quilt’s 2012 Commodity RFP Information

Event Date
RFP Release January 9, 2012
Non-Binding Letter of Intent to Respond Due

January 16, 2012

Pre-RFP Q&A Conference Call 3:00 pm EST
1-877-643-6951 – Passcode 62508556#

January 30, 2012

Pre-RFP Q&A Conference Call 3:00 pm EST
1-877-643-6951 – Passcode 62508556#

February 1, 2012

Due Date for CIS RFP Submission to The Quilt (11:59 pm EST)

February 17, 2012

CIS RFP Semi-Finalists Selected and Invited for Presentations

March 12, 2012

CIS RFP Semi-Finalist Presentations in Denver, CO – Travel Information TBA

March 27-28, 2012

Providers Selected to be CIS Authorized Quilt Provider (AQP)

April 9, 2012

CIS Master Services Agreement Signed

Week of May 21, 2012

CIS AQP Now Authorized to Sell Under Quilt Pricing Agreement

Upon MSA execution

2012 CIS RFP Documents

The three components of the RFP are available below as of January 9, 2012:

    1. Letter from the President and CEO with CIS RFP Overview Document (PDF)
    2. CIS RFP Essay (MS Word)
    3. Quilt Participant PoP Locations (MS Excel)

Summary of The Quilt’s CIS RFP Question and Answer Sessions – January 31, 2012 & February 1, 2012

  1. Q: Will the RFP Response deadline be extended?
    A: At this time we will not be extending the deadline. We will monitor the responses and feedback from participants and communicate if there are any changes to the February 17, 2012 deadline.
  2. Q: Today the number of Authorized Quilt Providers is 7. Will there be 7 or more providers going forward?
    A: No, there is no set number or quota for the number of Authorized Quilt Providers selected out of the RFP effort.
  3. Q: Will the Quilt make available the Master Service Agreements with its current list of Providers?
    A: Within the contents of RFP overview document, there is a sample master service agreement. This provides an idea of what the current provider agreements look like. The details of the executed agreements with the current Authorized Quilt Providers will not be made available.
  4. Q: How long is the term for the purchase contract?
    A: The term of the contract is for one year. If there is a change during that time, or a further discount beyond the MSA price is offered to a buyer, than all other Authorized Quilt Buyers will be offered that same price. Please see the top of page 7 under Some Common Questions About Being an Authorized Quilt Provider in the Overview Document
  5. Q: Who manages the Authorized Quilt Buyers List?
    A: It is managed by Quilt staff on behalf of Quilt Members. There are over 250 educational institutions listed on our current Authorized Quilt Buyers list. As updates are made to this list, our Authorized Quilt Providers receive an updated copy.
  6. Q: What are the requirements in becoming a Quilt Authorized Buyer particularly in how it relates to the providers ultimate risk in controlling the list so it doesn’t become a market rate?
    A: Quilt Members serve educational and research institutions within a given geographic territory. Because they have specific connected institutions to their network, those institutions may show up as part of the AQB list. It is intended for educational institutions and other non-profit s that are similarly missioned in support of education and research.
  7. Q: It is stated in the RFP documents that The Quilt doesn’t make any volume commitment as part of the RFP process. Is this still the case?
    A: Yes, it is still the case today. The Quilt makes no volume commitment as part of the RFP process.
  8. Q: How does The Quilt assist an Authorized Quilt Provider in marketing to the Authorized Quilt Buyers?
    A: Once the MSA is signed, the Quilt creates a webpage for the provider on the private side of the Quilt Website. Provider announcements are distributed as available to Quilt members. Typically our Quilt member meeting that is held after the completion of the Master Service Agreements, providers are invited to sponsor a dinner event to meet with members and distribute marketing material as desired. The Quilt’s provider liaison acts as a communication conduit and point of contact for provider support as well. The best outreach to our members comes through the opportunity to announce that bandwidth has grown to a point that a new pricing tier has been reached.
  9. Q: Does this bid support a “not to exceed” type pricing?
    A: While not explicitly laid out as a not to exceed price in the RFP documents, it is the expectation that all institutions listed on the Authorized Quilt Buyers list receive the same price per meg contract price as part of the program contract.
  10. Q: How does a vendor show access pricing since demarcation locations are unknown?
    A: Within the RFP documents there is a PoP spreadsheet. We do not as for specific pricing, but do ask for information on what additional types of charges would apply at a specific location, i.e. cross-connects fees and backhaul charges.
  11. Q: For organizations or institutions with a pre-existing contract in place with a provider ahead of that provider’s selection to the program, how will prior contracts for Authorized Quilt Buyers transition over under a new MSA?
    A: Once a provider is selected to be a part of our CIS program as an Authorized Provider, The Quilt liaison will work directly with the provider to help negotiate the most appropriate transition for these contracts on an individual case basis. This transition will depend on the individual terms of an impacted contract.
  12. Q: To what extent are customers buying theses services co-located at large carrier neutral facilities?
    A: It is our best assessment that there is about an even split between customers located at carrier neutral facilities and customers located in other locations.
  13. Q: Are the Q&A calls the only venue for questions?
    A: For further questions, you make contact Cas D’Angelo who is chair of this year’s RFP effort. Contact information is available in the RFP documents. To the extent possible, responses will be provided to these questions. Further, these questions will be generalized and posted to this list so others will have the opportunity to view.
  14. Q: Can you please provide us a with the E911 address for the following location:
    Computer and Space Sciences Bldg 224,
    University of Maryland
    Room 0312A (old building),
    College Park, MD 20742″
    According to the Google maps, I show it on Stadium Drive, but if you could please verify the address.
    A: Bldg 224 is on Stadium Drive. We do not have street numbers for locations on campus.
  15. Q: When notifying the members of the group on the vendor page that a new file has been uploaded, will the files be private when the “All of the Quilt” box is checked?
    A: Yes – When you choose “All of the Quilt” it is referring to the people listed on that particular private vendor page.

Where & When to Submit your CIS RFP, and Quilt Contact

Items 2 and 3 along with any materials requested in these documents must be completed and returned to the Quilt by February 17, 2012 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. This set of materials will comprise a vendor’s response to this RFP. All RFP submissions are to be uploaded by the Provider to an individual and secure Provider Page maintained by The Quilt through its Basecamp hub. Access information and submission hub use instructions will be forwarded under separate cover to individual respondents upon receipt of a non-binding Letter of Intent to Respond. If you did not receive the hub instructions or your password information, please contact Jennifer Griffin at griffin@thequilt.net.

RFP Documents must be in a .pdf or Microsoft Office software format. This is the only format in which RFP documents will be accepted.

If you have any questions regarding the documents or RFP process, please contact Cas D’Angelo at quiltrfp@sox.net or (404) 894-1356.